Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reflections of a First Year Teacher

Well here it is, at a close yet again. Just yesterday, I taught my last class of the year, and today my Grade 8 class wrote their final exam, with my Grade 11s left to write on Friday. After that, I have some minuscule responsibilities around the house (and oh you know, report cards) and then I'm done my first year as an adult. Since I think that a lot of you out there reading this blog are teachers, I thought that a reflection (Gah! There is that word again!) may be in order.

I don't have these in any particular order, just some thoughts and observations:

- As much as everyone talks about keeping a "professional distance", I think that students appreciate someone who is genuine. They get a lot of teacher's who they know are not being themselves around them, so if you act like yourself they will appreciate it.

- Always hold yourself to higher moral standards than you would hold them.

- It's ok to get mad sometimes, but it's wrong to stay mad.

- Sometimes the extra mile is not enough, but that doesn't mean you should try it again next time.

- The best advice for professional development I ever got was to write a list of everything that you are good at, and look at it whenever you feel down. Then make a list of three (and only three) things that you are bad at, and never look at it again.

- I think that I am personally good at: Getting my students involved, making myself available for them, explaining things to them in a way they can understand, being funny, creatively thinking of different ways to explain things, and probably a lot more.

- Man that felt good to write down, try it...seriously...

- Marking sucks, but it is never worth stressing out over, it'll get done.

- Be sure to tell students that they have made a difference to you. It will totally make their day.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The next two were added June 17th, 2008]

It's ok to get mad at a student, but it's wrong to STAY mad at one

- I think that it's natural to have favourites, but it's wrong to play favourites.

Anyway, that's about all that I can think of right now, I'm sure that I'll add more as I think about it.

Until next time,



-Ashley said...

This is exactly why you are the kind of teacher who's students will always say made a difference in their lives, even if they only ever had you for one session of morning academics. said...

I think we need to bring more ideas for this purpose. Involvement of young people can be handy in this regard. I am happy to find a good post here.